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Ramblin' Jack Elliott plans new CD

Monday, December 15, 2008 – Ramblin' Jack Elliott will release "A Stranger Here," the follow-up to his 2006 Anti- Record debut "I Stand Alone" on April 7th 2009. Working with producer Joe Henry (Bettye LaVette, Solomon Burke, Elvis Costello/Allen Toussaint), Elliott, 77, sings and plays acoustic guitar, and is backed by Van Dyke Parks and David Hidalgo (Los Lobos).

Elliott is known for his country/folk songs.

Henry writes in the liner notes, "I pitched the idea that he interpret country blues music from the Depression era of his birth...songs as dark, funny and strange as is he and the times that produced them, and also ones that still resonate in these turbulent days: songs from the blues masters Jack had known during their latter-day resurgence - and his own ascension - in the early sixties (Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis); songs that share shape and subject with many folk songs of the same period but speak with a particular poetry to struggle, love, justice and mortality - off-handedly and all at once...I needn't have pitched so hard. Jack seemed intrigued by the notion from the start, and had no trouble reading the songs as pertinent to him. He pounced on each one as it came up during the four days of recording in my basement studio, gave each a face of suave cunning, and was as unexpectedly arch as Bob Hope might've seemed strolling through a Fellini tableau. He's using an old language but always speaking in the present tense."

As a budding musician, Elliott developed his voice under the tutelage of Woody Guthrie, truck hitching across the country off and on for a couple of years with Woody, carrying "only razors and guitars." The pair eventually landed in Topanga Canyon, Cal. in the 1950s, where Elliott played for James Dean and later married Dean's former flame. On the other coast, Elliott was also a fixture of the Greenwich Village scene, and once spent "three days and a lot of wine" listening to Jack Kerouac read On the Road. But it is his relationship with a young Bob Dylan that Elliott is perhaps most famous for, though back in the 1960s the up-and-coming Dylan was often mistakenly dubbed the "son of Jack Elliott." Today Elliott simply states "Dylan learned from me the same way I learned from Woody."

More news for Ramblin' Jack Elliott

CD reviews for Ramblin' Jack Elliott

A Stranger Here CD review - A Stranger Here
Now in his late 70s, Ramblin' Jack Elliott has been a presence on the American folk music scene for more than a half-century, and other than Woody Guthrie's own kids is pretty much the last direct link to Guthrie and the Depression-era folk music that Elliott grew up on. A large part of that music was the "country blues" being performed and recorded by people like Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Son House and Blind Lemon Jefferson. Elliott pays tribute to all these and »»»
The Long Ride
Ramblin' Jack Elliot, with his shaky yet sure voice, has been telling stories for longer than some of us have been alive, and with this, his story trail continues undeterred. The song selection supports the idea that a great story is a great story - no matter how old or young it is. If that were not true, than why does Elliott sound equally convincing on a new Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan song "Pony" and the Stones' "Connection," as he does on so many of these public domain numbers? Elliott »»»
Friends of Mine
We should all be lucky enough to have Jerry Jeff Walker, Emmylou Harris and Tom Waits for friends. We should all lucky enough to have lived and toured with Woody Guthrie or influenced Bob Dylan early in his career. And while most of us can't, Ramblin' Jack Elliot can. As a human confluence of 40 years of people, places and songs, Elliot draws from a bottomless well of experience in this series of duets. He recalls his earliest influence with Guthrie's "Hard Travelin'," and his Greenwich Village »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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